Training Workshop To Recruit People Of Color For State Office

News release from Connecticut Conference Of Municipalities:

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), in conjunction with the Campaign School at Yale University, will again conduct a groundbreaking virtual two-day training program in March designed to assist more people of color–Black, Latino, Asian Americans, Indigenous Americans and others–with the skills needed, to run for public office. This time the focus will be on State elective office, serving on state boards and commissions and connecting people to opportunities for more civic participation. Last year, CCM and Yale conducted similar training to assist more people of color in running for local public office across Connecticut’s 169 towns and cities.

While Blacks, Latinos, Indigenous Americans and Asian-Americans comprise 30 percent of Connecticut’s population, they represent a smaller fraction of state elected public officials and state board and commission members.

Representation Matters: Are You Ready To Run For State Office? is a free two-day training effort to teach people of color across Connecticut the fundamentals to run for state office or serve on a state board or commission. The program will take place via zoom on Saturday, March 12 and Saturday, March 19 from 10 am to 3 pm.

The two-day program is also sponsored by the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity, the Parent Leadership Training Institute, and the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency. CCM and Hartford Votes-Vota Coalition are cooperating to promote Representation Matters in the Hartford area.

“One of the founding principles of this nation is the ideal of a representative government, and it is a goal America is still striving for,” said Joe DeLong, CCM Executive Director and CEO. “Increasing racial diversity and input [on] in the State House of Representatives and State Senate, as well as on a wide range of appointed state boards and commissions will broaden perspectives and ensure greater engagement in the state’s civic life. This effort will help foster a more equitable future.”

Day One on Saturday, March 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will be led by the renowned Campaign School at Yale University, which counts Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Presidential-candidate Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and former New Haven mayor, Toni Harp, as alumnae.

Here is the agenda and invited speakers:

Welcome, Patti Russo, Executive Director, The Campaign School (TCS) at Yale University

Making the Decision to Run: A Holistic Approach to Preparing to Run for office, Run a campaign, or Lead in Your Community–Patti Russo, Executive Director, TCS Yale

Finding Your Voice, Making It Matter–Gilda Bonanno, President, Gilda Bonanno LLC

Putting the ‘FUN’ in Fundraising: Effective Fundraising Techniques–Hon. Mona Das, Washington State Senator, 47th Legislative District and TCS Yale class of 2016 TCS YALE

How The Campaign School at Yale Transformed My Life!–Panelists: Yterenickia Bell, TCS Yale Class of 2019; Kate Farrar, TCS Yale Class of 2014; Natalie Murdock, TCS Yale Class of 2019

Effective Networking Techniques, Q&A and Wrap Up Patti Russo, Executive Director, TCS Yale

This first day of intensive training will provide a foundation and skill set for potential state and regional leaders.

The training includes a comprehensive discussion of all of the components necessary to begin a political career, both personally and professionally; cogent and inspiring communication techniques; and effective networking. The training will specifically cover: setting up a campaign, fundraising, developing your message, building your communications and strategy plan, digital and social media best practices and more. Other presentation topics include: making the decision to run, essentials of fundraising, finding your voice, making it matter, and a roundtable discussion with accomplished campaign school alumnae.

“As President Lincoln declared in the Gettysburg Address, the ideal nation is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” noted DeLong. “In the 21st century, we only need the willpower to make that a reality. Over this two-day training, many of the tools and know-how to get into state politics will be given to all who attend.”

And here is the complete line-up for day two of the training on Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., led by CCM, with all elected and appointed state leaders who have been invited to speak.

This program will focus on:
 How to pursue elective (or appointive) office in state government.
What to know when assuming elective (or appointive) office: ethics, public meetings, basic government and finance, and more.
 Why and how to get engaged and involved in your community.

• Luke Bronin, President, CCM President and Mayor of Hartford
• Paul Mounds, Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor, State of Connecticut
• Steven Hernandez, Executive Director, CT Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity
• Joe DeLong, CCM Executive Director and CEO

Become a Leader in your Community and State and Work for Change
• Jahana Hayes, US Representative-Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District

Civic Engagement: Why you and why now
• William Tong, Connecticut Attorney General

Getting Involved and Working Toward Elective Office
• Alex Rodriguez, Hartford Democratic Town Committee
• Brendan Saunders, Clinton Republican Town Committee Chair

Panel of Seasoned Experts–Lessons Learned/Best Practices for Leadership
• Moderator:  Melvette Hill, Director, Connecticut Parent Leadership Training Institute
Jason Rojas, State House Majority Leader
Toni Walker, State Representative for 93rd Assembly District (New Haven)
Joe de la Cruz, State Representative for 41st Assembly District (Groton, New London)
Marilyn Moore, State Senator for 22nd Senate District (Bridgeport, Monroe and Trumbull)
Tony Hwang, State Senator for 28th Senate District (Fairfield, Easton, Newtown)
Saud Anwar, State Senator for 3rd Senate District (East Hartford, Ellington, East Windsor, South Windsor
Avery Gaddis, Director of Urban Affairs, Connecticut Senate Republican Caucus

State Government and Finance 101
• Melissa McCaw, Secretary, Connecticut Office of Policy and Management

Ethics, Public Meetings, Roberts Rules, Freedom of Information
• Attorney Kari Olson of the law firm of Murtha Cullina

Closing Remarks
• Joe DeLong, CCM Executive Director and CEO


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